Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.
2017 September 1
Explanation: Making landfall in Oregon, the Moon's dark umbral shadow toured the United States on August 21. Those gathered along its coast to coast path were witness to a total eclipse of the Sun, possibly the most widely shared celestial event in history. But first, the Moon's shadow touched the northern Pacific and raced eastward toward land. This dramatic snapshot was taken while crossing the shadow path 250 miles off the Oregon coast, 45,000 feet above the cloudy northern Pacific. Though from a shorter totality, it captures the eclipse before it could be seen from the US mainland. With the eclipsed Sun not far above, beautiful colours appear along the western horizon giving way to a clear, pitch-black, stratospheric sky in the shadow of the Moon.
Authors & editors:
Jerry Bonnell (UMCP)
NASA Official: Phillip Newman Specific rights apply.
A service of: ASD at NASA / GSFC
& Michigan Tech. U.